Heartstrings of Siblings
Two Separate Families, One Emotional Mishap
When I was a little girl, I thought having four older (half) sisters was the coolest fact about me, especially when they lived in a different state than I did. I would dream about hanging out with them, being one of them, and sharing secrets. Over the years as I grew in knowledge of the real world, it became painfully clear to me that my dreams were simply my hopes manifest and would rarely cross over into reality. To be fair, I can't blame my sisters entirely; I was a pain in the butt as a child. On the rare occasions I did see them, I would chase after them to tell them to stop smoking because it would kill them. I didn't know how to say, "dad won't let me hang out with you when you smoke," so it came out as me being a little priss.
Being the first daughter for dad to fully raise from infancy to adulthood, I know it has been a tough pill for them to swallow. Watching your dad raise two other daughters while he wasn't there when you needed him most; he may not have been there for my emotionally, but he wasn't there for them emotionally or physically. To say I have felt at times jealousy, anger, or resentment from my siblings over the years is an understatement, and I don't blame them. I know I have complained about how my dad has treated me over the years (Agent Orange messed him up big time), but they would have been grateful for even those unhappy memories rather than none at all. I have been seen as ungrateful, and perhaps in ways, I have been, but this is my journey and I have a right to speak out about it as I choose. There have been some wonderful moments between my older sisters and I; getting dressed up for a wedding, hanging out in the backyard, playing croquet, taking shots, etc. The only thing I would change would be to have more of those pleasant memories rather than the harsh ones. I have been verbally beaten into the ground for living a life none of them could ever understand and for making choices based upon the cards I was dealt with rather than making decisions using their cards for my life. The accusations have been endless and baffling, to say the least. At one time, I was a selfish and lazy person; but that was years ago and sadly, that is the only "me" that they choose to see. I have changed so much over the years because I want to be a better person and live the life I desire to have. I want to have a happy life; I want to be a happy person. To be lectured based upon making choices that make me a happier and less stressed person is ludicrous! I'm not going to sit here typing and preach about how I was the perfect one, because I'm not. I've let my anger get the best of me and say the most hurtful things. Even though were are years and miles apart, I still know what to say to cause the most hurt. That's part of being a sibling; the adulting part is not acting on it. I felt I was getting back at them for all the torturous words they have said to me, but in the end, nobody won. We all lost. Recently I have made a move to be silent in order to protect myself from becoming weak in the moment and responding in anger or hurt; that isn't the person I want to be, and until I am able to speak to them without feeling that pressure, it is best if I remain aloof. One thing that has never made any sense amidst all the pain passed between us is how I am not considered a sister by someone. To my knowledge, I have never done anything to personally and intentionally injure this sibling and yet, there is nothing but bitterness and horrid words thrown at me or about me (when speaking to others about me). Even though I have finished college, have managed to not live on the streets, have never been fired, have started my own business, have assisted our dad when he was close to death (and retaining his meanness), there is nothing good about me to be said, nothing to be proud of. I doubt she'll read this; even if she does, it won't change her mind. There is too much pain buried and unsaid for her to see me in any other way but what she needs me to be. In other words, I'm her scapegoat for whatever pain or negative emotion she has locked up inside of her, and until that is dealt with, her scapegoat I'll remain. Am I saddened by this? Absolutely! All I've ever wanted was to be sisters (and up till last year, I thought we were).But, even though it appears as if she revels in convincing the world and those around us that I'm this horrible person, I know who I am, my customers know who I am, my honorary sisters of over a decade know who I am - my honorary moms of over a decade know me. Lately I have been fighting some hurt I feel over her relationship with our dad and how it seems he prefers her over me. Said hurt is what has prompted this outreach. I'm not angry, I just don't understand what it is that causes the dad I have saved time and time again (the dad whom I have tried to make proud for over 20 years) to smile when she's on the phone when I can't make him smile. It is hard to be the daughter who lives with her parents and helps her parents when she is the daughter one parent doesn't want the most. For the next month and a half, she'll have the pleasure of having our dad stay with her, and I know it will make them both very happy, which is how it should be in the end. To sisters and fathers: may we all have our own individual happy endings.